Environment report shows NZ isn't that green

  • 28/10/2015
Environment report shows NZ isn't that green

New Zealand is emitting more gas, lagging in greenhouse reductions and the worst recycler in the world, according to a new report.

The OECD's latest Environment at a Glance report has found New Zealand wanting in several fields - including putting it last when it comes recycling.

New Zealand was bottom of the heap when it came to the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, as opposed to recycling, coming in behind the likes of Estonia, Turkey and Mexico.

The country's greenhouse gas emissions per capita also came close to among the worst - only ahead of the US, Australia, Canada and Luxembourg - and it was second-to-last when it came to emissions compared to the size of the economy.

New Zealand was also among the nine countries in which overall emissions had grown and although emissions compared to GDP had shrunk, that reduction was well below most other developed nations.

Pollution taxes were also among the lowest of any OECD country.

But the country also rated second best in terms of percentage of land left of national parks - only behind Iceland - and third-best in water stress.

The Green Party said the report was "internationally embarrassing" and blamed the government for a lack of attention to environmental protection.

"New Zealand should be one of the leaders in the developed world’s efforts to clean up its economies, but instead, we are continually being highlighted as one of the worst. We are doing worse than the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada," environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

"The Government needs to invest in environmental protection and safeguard our climate, land, rivers, and oceans. The places we love are worth saving from pollution."